REPORT NUMBER 94 OF THE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE
October 13, 2022
To the Executive Committee,
University of Toronto.
Your Committee reports that it held a virtual meeting on October 13, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. with the following members present:
Mark Lautens (Chair), David Bowden, Robert Cooper, Summer Hart
Tracey Gameiro, Secretary, Anwar Kazimi, Deputy Secretary of the Governing Council and Chief Returning Officer (CRO), Timothy Harlick, Secretary and Deputy Returning Officer (DRO), St. George, Cindy Ferencz-Hammond, Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council and Deputy Returning Officer, UTM, Emma Thacker, Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council and Deputy Returning Officer, UTSC
The Chair welcomed members and guests to the meeting.
- Overview of Mandate & Terms of Reference
The Chair provided an overview of the Committee’s mandate and highlighted its areas of responsibility as outlined in its Terms of Reference, including its composition. One of the Committee’s stated areas of responsibility was to review and recommend for approval the policy on elections. While there was not a separate document on “elections policy”, the Election Guidelines and the University of Toronto Act, 1971, each contained elements which together were considered the elections policy. He added that the U of T Act also spoke to a number of areas related to Governing Council membership and elections.
The Act empowered the Governing Council to determine the manner and procedure of election of its members. The Act also authorized the Governing Council to set constituencies and assign administrative staff, student, and teaching staff to these constituencies, which could be characterized as subgroups within each estate. The Committee also oversaw the elections process and the CRO would present an Elections Report to the Committee at the final meeting of the governance cycle.
Turning to Elections Guidelines, the Chair noted that an important function of the Committee was to undertake an annual review of the Election Guidelines and approve any minor amendments. The draft 2023 Guidelines would be considered by the Committee at the next meeting. If required, recommendations for “major” amendments to the Guidelines would be forwarded by the Committee to the Executive Committee for approval.
As in past years, the 2023 elections schedule would start with the opening of the nomination period in January, through the campaign and voting period in mid-February, the appeals period, and ended with any hearings regarding election expenses towards the end of March.
The Chair then discussed the important role of the Committee as election overseers. In this role the Committee would be empowered to consider any appeal of a decision of the CRO as well as any appeal or other question arising from the conduct of the elections as outlined in the Guidelines.
- Calendar of Business
The CRO, Anwar Kazimi, noted that a central function of the Committee would be to consider the Election Guidelines 2022 at its next meeting.
- Preliminary Discussion - Election Guidelines 2023
Mr. Anwar Kazimi provided a preliminary report on the proposed revisions and updates to the 2023 Guidelines. He noted that no major amendments would be coming forward, and that the minor revisions proposed related to timelines for nominations. Mr. Kazimi advised the Committee that a new election platform would be incorporated into the election process.
The CRO then advised members that further to the recommendations of the anti-black racism taskforce relating to inclusion and representation on governing bodies, the Governing Council had made a commitment that members of its nomination and striking committees would complete unconscious bias training prior to their deliberations. Members of the Elections Committee were also required to complete the module.
Mr. Kazimi then provided an update on the by-election results. Notably, he reported that all seats were filled on the UTM Academic Affairs and Campus Affairs Committees. No candidate submissions were received for the Academic Board or UTSC governance bodies. Sotirios Damouras, (Teaching Staff, Computer & Mathematical Sciences), was elected to the Governing Council by acclamation. The part-time undergraduate seat on Governing Council remained vacant.
There were no questions from members.
- Report of the Previous Meeting - Report Number 93 (June 2, 2022)
The Report of the Previous Meeting – Report Number 93, was approved.
- Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting
There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.
- Date of Next Meeting: November 24, 2022, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
The Chair confirmed that the date of the next meeting would be held on November 24, 2022.
- Other Business
The meeting adjourned at 5:22 p.m.
October 13, 2022